Monday, November 20, 2017

Besiktas 1 Monaco 1: Tosun penalty puts Turkish champions on brink of qualification

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 1 Nov 2017

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Besiktas are on the brink of qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first time since the competition was rebranded after earning a 1-1 draw at home to Monaco on Wednesday.

The Turkish champions came from behind against Monaco for the second time in a fortnight in Group G, Cenk Tosun scoring his third goal in two games against the Ligue 1 team to claim a point at Vodafone Park.

Marcos Lopes lit up a tame first half with a fine goal shortly before the interval, curling a low strike into Fabri’s bottom-right corner after finding room just outside the penalty area.

But Besiktas levelled nine minutes after the restart, Tosun smashing a penalty past Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic after Jorge’s poor tackle fouled Ricardo Quaresma, while Keita Balde Diao wasted a fine chance to win the match by shooting straight at Fabri in injury time

Senol Gunes’ Besiktas will now seal qualification for the next phase of the Champions League if RB Leipzig win at Porto later in the day.

Monaco face an uphill task to qualify as last season’s surprise semi-finalists are bottom of the section, Leonardo Jardim’s men having taken only two points from their four group games so far.

The first effort of the game took 15 minutes to arrive, Youri Tielemans flicking a header at goal from a Thomas Lemar corner but finding only Besiktas goalkeeper Fabri.

Monaco were then forced into an early attacking change when Stevan Jovetic replaced France international Lemar due to an injury.

The visitors continued to make the better openings in a tight first half, Fabri smothering a Lopes effort after Jovetic got clear down the left and slid a low cross into the box.

After Besiktas right-back Gokhan Gonul drilled wide from a fine position, Monaco deservedly took the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Lopes collected a pass from Joao Moutinho 30 yards from goal, wriggled into a pocket of space and bent a 20-yard drive into Fabri’s bottom-right corner.

Tosun scored twice to turn the reverse fixture around after Monaco took the lead and the striker got Besiktas on level terms again from the penalty spot.

Quaresma turned Jorge in the box and the defender could only bring the winger down with a desperate lunge, Tosun hammering his kick into the roof of the net despite Subasic diving the right way.

Portugal winger Quaresma then missed a fine chance due to an untimely slip, with his 20-yard shot clearing the crossbar after Ryan Babel teed him up.

Monaco almost retook the lead after 76 minutes when Andrea Raggi’s header was cleared off the line by Oguzhan Ozyakup, while Babel wasted a chance to set up a colleague after bursting into the box with a great run.

Jemerson and Keita both sent good chances straight at Fabri in an entertaining end-to-end finale, but the draw leaves Besiktas six points clear atop the group and Monaco are running out of games.

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